BLOOMINGTON (WJBC) – The head of the Bloomington-Normal public transit board favors another delay in a planned fare increase to allow a working group to complete its comprehensive transit system review.
Our news partner WJBC reports the Connect Transit Board initially voted for a 25 cent fare increase to $1.25 that was supposed to start last June. The board postponed the fare hike to October, and then to New Year’s Day.
Board Chair Mike McCurdy said Sunday night he agrees with board member and Connect to the Future working group participant Julie Hile, who believes enacting a fare hike now would be disrespectful to the group’s efforts.
“They’ve done a deep dive on transit in the community. The learning curve that some of these working group members have been on to understand the transit issues in this community has been tremendous,” McCurdy said.
“I am absolutely fine with waiting to enact any fare increase until we’re able to see the final work of these community members that have volunteered their time to work on these transit issues,” McCurdy also said.
McCurdy believes the system can handle losing revenue from not raising fares, but he could not say how long this latest delay might be.
“I think that this is something that we’ll be able to absorb. There is a loss of state funds because we don’t have those fares to match the state funds, but that’s something I think we can also continue to absorb. It is a loss, but it’s not a huge portion of our budget,” McCurdy said.
The Connect Transit Board is likely to consider the delay at its December 5 meeting.